Homemade Degreaser for Automobile Engines

Updated February 21, 2017

Over time, car engines become greasy and dirty. It just comes with the territory. Even the cleanest, shiniest cars on the street may be nasty under the bonnet. There are many engine degreasers available in stores that will work to clean up an engine, but there are a couple of options for making your own at home that will be less expensive and work just as well.

Kerosene Based Degreaser

Use kerosene or diesel as the base for a degreaser that will work well to loosen grease and grime from your car's engine, according to

Get a 1-gallon jug and make sure it has been thoroughly cleaned out and rinsed with water. Add a quarter-gallon of kerosene or diesel to the jug and pour in 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap. Fill the rest of the jug with water and seal the jug tightly.

Shake the jug to combine the contents, forming your engine degreaser. As you might imagine, petroleum products and water do not mix well, but a good shake just before use will emulsify the ingredients long enough for this project. Pour the degreaser on dirty engine parts and allow it to soak for a moment. Use a parts brush to scrub the engine and watch as the grease and dirt begin to wash away. Once the engine appears to be clean, rinse the engine with clean water from a pitcher or the hose.

Mild Degreaser

If you ever wondered how washing powder manages to get out some of those food stains on your shirt, just think about what is doing the staining. In many cases the oils and grease in food are the parts of the food that cause the spots on clothing. Applying a degreaser in the form of washing powder is how to get the stains out.

Washing powder can also degrease a car engine, according to This cheap and safe remedy will allow you to scrub off stubborn grease and build-up under your car's bonnet.

Dissolve 1/4 cup of powdered washing powder into a 1-gallon jug full of warm water. Soak a sponge in the solution and scrub the grease off of the areas of the engine that need cleaning. Repeat the process as many times as necessary to remove all the grease.

Rinse the engine thoroughly with clean water after you are finished and discard any leftovers in the jug. This mixture should not be stored. Discard any remaining degreaser by pouring it down a drain. This mild solution will not damage plumbing.

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About the Author

Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.